How do you FEEL your words?


Let us remind ourselves how we left things.  I left you with something to think about.

‘I would like to leave you with a powerful thought to start you thinking, and that is – Everything we do is driven by a feeling and every thought we have gives us a feeling.  Please spend some time and think about that statement and we can start exploring it more next time.’

We will have a look at those two statements in a little more detail.  So let’s look at the first one. ‘Everything we do is driven by a feeling’.  We make choices all the time.  Even if we have to do a job, we decide how well we are going to do it, how much effort we are going to put in.  We decide if our conscience will allow us to do it at a lower standard than our best.  If we have hobbies, it is because of how they make us feel when we do them.  If we think about doing something that we don’t enjoy, the feeling is different, and that is where the second statement comes in.  If you think about anything, you have an accompanying feeling that appears in a particular area of your body.  The same goes for every decision and every choice we make.  The feelings are usually very small and we have been having them all our lives so are so used to them we don’t consciously recognise them, but they are there.  It is really useful to revisit this and start to become aware, again, of the feelings that we have.

When I was working as a tutor in London, I was putting a programme together with another tutor.  I was on the laptop and she was walking around thinking and we were batting ideas to each other.  I made the statement that whatever we were creating would be a challenge.  What happened next blew me out of the water!  My colleague just lost it.  She was shouting at me saying that we could not use the word ‘challenging’ we needed to replace it with ‘hard’.  I was definitely not happy with the word ‘hard’, and we ended up have a very heated (at first) discussion about how we responded to each word.  We realised that we felt each word very differently and I set up a table of how we felt words.  I rated them on how ‘Hard’ or how ‘Do-able’ we found words.  For me ‘challenge’ was an exciting word that indicated potential whereas ‘hard’ was like a ‘brick wall’ word that stopped there.  So for me, HARD was 80% hard and 20% do-able and CHALLENGE was 30% hard and 70% do-able.  For my colleague HARD was 60% hard and 40% do-able but to my surprise she felt that CHALLENGE was 100% hard.   I have since worked with clients using this chart I have come across another 4 people who felt about ‘Challenge’ in the same way as my colleague.  We then looked at how we felt the work ‘Difficult’ when we compared them with ‘Hard’ and ‘Challenge’.

I would like you to explore how you feel words.  It is useful to do this experiment with someone so you can compare.  Then get words that have a similar meaning and make a table to compare them with and see how they change for each person.

When you give them numbers, go with the number that feels right not the one that you think is right.

I would be really interested to hear what you discover!

Next week we will be looking at what I call ‘Beat me up Language’.